July is the most fatal month of the year

Did you know that July is the deadliest month of the year? Fatalities increase by up to 11% over the mean yearly average.


  1. Increased road traffic as families goes on vacation means more accidents and more fatalities
  2. As temperatures rise more and more people, especially children, try to cool off in pools, lakes, rivers and in the ocean. This means an increase in drownings.
  3. Finally, speaking of rising temperatures, heat waves like the one that we’ve been experiencing across much of the country means increased deaths due to heat strokes.

All of the above are preventable. Driving more carefully and patiently, paying more attention to children when they are around water and following basic safety precautions as relate to heat stroke can make July as safe as any other month.

May Electrical Safety Awareness Month

May is National Electrical Safety Month

Electrical wiring – improper installation, or damaged or deteriorated wiring and cords – sparks an estimated 50,000 home fires each year. These fires cause more than 500 deaths, 1,500 injuries, and $1.4 billion in property damage and loss each year. Additionally, emergency rooms treat almost 2,500 children each year for injuries triggered by sticking objects into electrical outlets or getting kites tangled on electrical power lines. All of these can be Prevented!

Top 10 Rules for Electric Safety

To play it safe around your home or work, just remember the rules for using electricity the right way.

1. DON’T plug a bunch of stuff into one outlet or extension cord.It could damage the electrical system in your house or even cause a fire.2. Make sure all electric cords are tucked away, neat and tidy.

Pets might chew on electrical cords, and people might trip and fall.

3. DON’T ever climb the fence around an electrical substation.If a ball or pet gets inside the fence, ask a grown-up to call the electric company – they’ll come and get it out for you.
4. DON’T yank an electrical cord from the wall.Pulling on a cord can damage the appliance, the plug or the outlet.
5. Fly your kite far away from power lines or substations.The kite and the string may conduct electricity – sending it right through you to the ground.6. Ask a grown-up for help when you need to use something that uses electricity.
7. DO look up and look out for power lines before you climb a tree.The electricity can go right through the tree branch – and right through you!8. Have a grown-up put safety caps on all unused electrical outlets.

Covering outlets will also help save energy by stopping cold drafts.

9. Watch out for power lines when they’re using a ladder, chainsaw or other outdoor equipment.10. Keep electrical stuff far away from water.Most electrical accidents around the house happen when people use electricity near water.

General Electrical Safety Tips

· Replace or repair loose or frayed cords on all electrical devices.

· Avoid running extension cords across doorways or under carpets.

· In homes with small children, unused wall sockets and extension-cord receptacles should have plastic safety covers.

· Consider having additional circuits or outlets added by a qualified electrician so you do not have to use extension cords.

· Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for plugging an appliance into a receptacle outlet.

· Avoid overloading outlets. Plug only one high-wattage appliance into each receptacle outlet at a time.

· If outlets or switches feel warm, shut off the circuit and have them checked by an electrician.

· When possible, avoid the use of “cube taps” and other devices that allow the connection of multiple appliances into a single receptacle.

Polarized and 3-Prong Plugs

· Polarized plugs have one blade that is slightly bigger than the other. This design makes sure that plugs are plugged into outlets correctly and also reduces the risk of electric shock. NEVER shove a polarized plug into a non-polarized outlet or extension cord.

· 3-prong plugs also help to reduce the risk of electric shock. NEVER remove the 3rd prong in order to make it fit into a 2 prong outlet or extension cord.

Light Bulbs

· Check the lamp’s wattage and use the appropriate watt light bulb.

· Make sure that light bulbs are screwed in securely to prevent overheating.

· Place lamps on level surfaces, away from things that can burn.

· If you smell a faint burning or rubbery smell from a lamp then the wattage level of the light bulb is too high for the lamp and it should be replaced with the appropriate bulb.


· Make sure that all appliances have been tested by an independent research laboratory and be sure to follow all manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

· Appliances that take a lot of power to operate, such as space heaters and halogen lamps, should be plugged directly into an outlet. These appliances should not be plugged into extension cords.· One Outlet One Plug! Don’t overload electric outlets with several plugs. If multiple appliances must share one outlet, be sure to use only one appliance at a time.

Water and appliances don’t mix!· Don’t leave appliances plugged in where they may come into contact with water.· If an appliance falls into water DO NOT reach in to pull it out. First turn off the power and unplug the appliance.

· Don’t use electric appliances or take showers or baths during an electric storm. Using electricity during an electric storm increases your risk of getting an electric shock.

Hunt for Home Electrical Hazards

Keep an eye out for these warning signs. If any of these are present in your home there could be a risk of an electric fire or electrocution.

· Frequent power outages or blown fuses. This may indicate that your home wiring needs to be updated or repaired. Contact a licensed electrician.

· Overloaded electrical outlets

· Dim or flickering lights

· Sparks or sizzling sounds in outlets or walls

· Overheated plugs, cords or switches

· Smells of something burning or rubbery smells

· Frayed wires or cracked cords Feeling a mild shock or tingle when you plug in an appliance.

Starting a New Outdoors Project?Call Dig-Safe at 811 before any digging or excavation work to prevent any electrical danger.

Safe Extension Cord Use

Extension cords deliver electrical power to where it’s needed. But when they are misused, they can also become electrical hazards.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that some 3,000 people are treated each year for injuries associated with extension cords. In addition, the CPSC reports that improperly functioning extension cords cause 5,000 residential fires annually. The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) suggests following these cord safety tips to help avoid shock and fire hazards.

Remember, extension cords are intended for temporary use.

• Never run extension cords through walls, under rugs or furniture, or across doorways.

• Never try to repair a damaged extension cord with electrical tape; replace it instead.

• Never overload an extension cord. If any part of the cord feels warm to the touch, the cord is drawing too much power and could present a fire or shock hazard.

• Never cut off the ground pin to connect a 3-prong appliance cord to a 2-wire extension cord or receptacle. Always use a UL-listed adapter for this purpose.

• Replace older extension cords if one of the prongs in the plug is not “polarized.” In a polarized plug, one prong will be wider than the other.

• Do not allow extension cords to dangle from counters or tables, where someone could accidentally pull them down or trip over them.

• Always plug an appliance in to the extension cord before plugging the extension cord into a wall receptacle. Also, make sure the appliance is “off” before plugging it in.

• When disconnecting an extension cord, pull from the plug, not the cord itself.

• Cover unused outlets on the extension cord to prevent children from making contact with a live circuit.

• Before buying any extension cord, check to ensure that the product has been listed by a nationally recognized laboratory, such as Under-writers Laboratories (UL) or Canadian Standards Association (CSA)

• Use special, heavy-duty extension cords for high-wattage appliances such as air conditioners, portable electric heaters and freezers.

• When placing furniture or an appliance directly up against a wall where a cord is plugged into a receptacle, use a low-profile type of plug. These plugs will let the appliance or furniture get closer to the wall, and there is less chance of the plug coming loose.

• Outside the home, use extension cords designed expressly for outdoor use.

Arc Faults

What is an arc fault?

Arcing faults often occur in damaged or deteriorated wires and cords. Some causes of damaged and deteriorated wiring include puncturing of wire insulation from picture hanging or cable staples, poorly installed outlets or switches, cords caught in doors or under furniture, furniture pushed against plugs in an outlet, natural aging, and cord exposure to heat vent and sunlight.

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs)

One of the most important safety devices in your home is a simple electrical device called a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI). Estimates indicate that the installation of GFCIs have saved hundreds of lives and prevented thousands of injuries in the U.S. over the past 30 years.

GFCIs are designed to provide protection against electrical shock from ground faults, or leakage currents, which occur when the electrical current flows outside of the circuit conductors. If a person becomes part of a path for leakage current, he or she will be severely shocked or electrocuted.

If GFCIs were installed in every U.S. home, experts suggest that nearly 70 percent of the approximately 400 electrocutions that occur each year in the home could be prevented.


· Put a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) between your electric power source and your electric product.

· Test your GFCI monthly and after every major electrical storm.

· If you have a home without GFCIs, consult a qualified, licensed electrician about adding this important protection, purchase plug-in units or a portable GFCI to provide individual receptacle or load protection.

· GFCIs are products designed to prevent serious injury or death from electrical shock by detecting ground faults at very low levels.

· A GFCI should be used in any area where water may come in contact with electrical products. GFCIs are now required by code in certain areas of the home, including unfinished basements, kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, garages, crawl spaces and around swimming pools.

· If a GFCI senses minimal current leakage to ground in an electrical circuit, it assumes a ground fault has occurred. It them interrupts power fast enough to prevent serious injury from electrical shock.

· Three types of GFCIs are designed for home use-wall receptacle, circuit breaker and portable plug-in. All three are readily available, inexpensive and fairly simple to install.



Surge protectors and UPS devices protect equipment, but they do not protect from the potential hazards of an overloaded circuit. Make sure the electrical load is not too great for the circuit. A licensed electrician can check your electrical system and provide guidance on the capacity of electrical circuits in your office.

Telltale signs of overloading include:

  • outlets warm to the touch;
  • outlets that are discolored;
  • circuit breakers that frequently trip
  • fuses that frequently blow;
  • burned insulation odors; and
  • extension cord that are warm to the touch.
  • To prevent these electrical hazards, contact a licensed electrician to install dedicated circuits where needed. It is also smart to install outlets to eliminate the use of extension cords.

Information from NEC, OSHA, ESFI, www.electrical-safety.org,

Today’s post comes to us courtesy of Ken Oswald

Safety and Security Manager for Plateau



National Safety Month Week 4- Ergonomics

June 2013 National Safety Month Tips

Week 4 Jun 24-29


Ergonomics derives from two Greek words, Ergo (work) and Nomos (norms or laws). Ergonomics is a technique to optimize efficient, safe and healthful performance. It is a common sense approach to ergonomics, which our grandmothers tried to inculcate in us—“excesses are bad.” Repetitive exposures to excessive stresses without proper training or rest may result in lifting challenges, hyper- and hypothermia, hearing loss, cumulative traumas and carpal tunnel syndromes. Ergonomics improves productivity, safety and health and the quality of life. It also depends on one’s psychosocial and physical environments. It is essential that the internal bodily environment be in harmony with the external environment

Ergonomics involves designing the job environment to fit the person and is important to take into consideration at work, but also while working on projects at home. It’s about learning how to work smarter and preventing conditions such as overexertion.

Ergonomic conditions are disorders of the soft tissues, specifically of the muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, joints, cartilage, blood vessels and spinal discs. These conditions are often caused by factors such as:

• Overexertion while lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling, reaching or stretching

• Repetitive motions

• Working in awkward positions

• Sitting or standing too long in one position

• Using excessive force

• Vibration

• Resting on sharp corners or edges

• Temperature extremes

Remember, these can occur from activities at work, such as working on an assembly line, using heavy equipment or typing on a computer. They also can result from activities at home like playing video games, helping someone move, participating in hobbies such as sewing or through home repair projects.

Know the signs

Ergonomic conditions are best dealt with when they are caught early. Common symptoms include:

• Pain

• Swelling

• Numbness

• Tingling

• Tenderness

• Clicking

• Loss of grip strength

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, make sure to see your physician or an occupational physician as soon as possible to determine the cause of your pain.

Common types of injuries associated with poor ergonomic design include but not limited to:









Daily Tips for this week:

June 24: Keep your joints and muscles relaxed by stretching to increase blood flow throughout the duration of your work day.

June 25: Avoid muscle and joint cramps by periodically adjusting your seated position.

June 26: Practice ergonomics at work and home to avoid conditions such as overexertion.

June 27: If a stretch begins to hurt, ease up on the amount of stretch and quit if you can’t do it without pain.

June 28: Avoid straining your eyes at a computer by periodically taking time to close your eyes for a minute at a time and then focusing on an object at least 20 feet away.

Forearm and Wrist StretchesUse one hand to spread apart and straighten the fingers of the other hand and then stretch your wrist back gently as far as you can. Keep your elbow straight. Relax your hands.You should feel a gentle stretch in the forearm flexors, then switch direction and stretch the forearm extensors.

Hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds to 1 minute. Can be done several times per day.

See more ergonomics tips visit the Safety Matters Intranet website or contact me.

Computer operators, too, may develop ergonomic injuries too including the back, neck, shoulders, hands, wrists, fingers, and eyes unless they follow ergonomic guidelines to protect themselves. Here are a few ergonomic tips to help create an ergonomic friendly office area:

· Furniture that is adjustable to fit the size of each worker

· Easy access to all necessary tools and equipment

· Seat height that allows the feet to rest flat on the floor or on a footrest

· A backrest with an adjustable lumbar support

· Armrests that are broad and cushioned

· A computer monitor placed directly in front of the worker, placed so that the user’s eyes are aligned with a point 2 to 3 inches below the top of the screen, tilted back just slightly to help prevent glare, and located an arm’s length from the user.

Ergonomic Quiz, test your knowledge

1. What type of injury is commonly associated with poor ergonomic design?

A. Concussion

B. Tendonitis

C. Broken leg

D. Congestive heart failure

2. What part of the body is affected by ergonomic disorders?

A. Skin

B. Bones

C. Soft tissues

D. Brain

3. What is an early sign of an ergonomic condition?

A. Tiredness

B. Numbness

C. Headaches

D. Sweating

4. What factors cause poor ergonomic conditions?

A. Repetitive motions

B. Working in awkward positions

C. Vibration

D. All of the above

5. Ergonomic conditions can only be caused by activities at work.

True False

Answers are:

1. B

2. C

3. B

4. D

5. False

Safety First, Safety Always!

Information from National Safety Council

Today’s post comes to us courtesy of

Ken Oswald, Safety and Security Manager for Plateau


May is Motorcycle Safety Month

If you live in WA like I do and go out at all this weekend you couldn’t help but notice all the motorcycles out on the roads. It was a beautiful weekend for it and they came out in masses to take over the roads and highways.


Unless proper safety is observed, this might be a recipe for disaster. That’s why May, the month were some many motorcyclists, fire up their motorcycle engine for the first time after a long winter, is Motorcycle Safety Month.

Here are a few safety tips both for drivers on the road with motorcyclists as well as for motorcyclists themselves.

Safety tips for those sharing the road with motorcycles:

  • Be aware that motorcyclists are out there sharing the road. Look for them. They are obviously much harder to see then cars.
  • When motorcyclists downshift or ease off the throttle the motorcycle will slow down without the break lights going on so make sure you give them plenty of room.
  • Motorcycle turn signals may or may not turn off automatically when the turn or lane change has taken place. Don’t assume that a motorcycle is actually turning, just because that’s what the blinker indicates.
  • Being smaller means that motorcycles are easier to miss in your vehicles’ blindspot. Make sure you check thoroughly before you change lanes.
  • It is difficult to judge how rapidly a motorcycle is approaching, much harder than a car or truck.
  • While the rules of the road say that the driving distance between your  car and the motorcycle is the same as the one between two cars, it is safer to allow a greater distance. What might be a simple fender-bender between two cars can become a fatality when a motorcycle is involved.

Safety Tips for motorcyclists:

  • Understand that you are much more difficult to spot than a car is. Maximize your visibility with hi-viz clothing, reflective stripes and by leaving your headlights on at all times.
  • Know your bike. Practice driving in all times of weather and all kinds of road conditions. Knowing what you can or can’t do based on conditions around you can mean the difference between life and death.
  • Especially when on the highway, drive as if you were a car. Do not weave in and out of traffic, ride the shoulder or zip between cars. Doing so puts you at risk.
  • Wear a helmet and proper protective gear at all times.

Learn more about motorcycle safety from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation website. Of special interest is the library that they have available with several good documents, curriculum, reports, papers and a whole lot more.

March Kidney Disease Awareness Month

Protect Your Kidneys: Control Diabetes, Blood Pressure

March is World Kidney month, a day dedicated to raising awareness of kidney disease and the importance of its prevention and early detection.

Kidney disease damages your kidneys, preventing them from cleaning your blood as well as they should.

This damage can cause wastes to build up in your body and lead to other health problems, including heart disease, anemia, and bone disease.

Chronic kidney disease eventually can cause kidney failure if it is not treated.

If you do have the disease, it’s important to be diagnosed early. Treatment can slow down the disease, and prevent or delay kidney failure. Because chronic kidney disease often develops slowly and with few symptoms, many people with the condition don’t realize they’re sick until the disease is advanced and requires dialysis. Blood and urine tests are the only ways to tell if you have chronic kidney disease.

Tips for Keeping Your Kidneys Healthy

Steps to help keep your kidneys healthy include the following:

· Keep blood pressure below 130/80 mm/Hg.

· Stay in your target cholesterol range.

· Eat less salt and salt substitutes.

· Eat healthy foods.

· Stay physically active.

· Take your medications as prescribed.

If you have diabetes, take these steps, too:

· Meet blood sugar targets as often as you can.

· Have an A1c test at least twice a year, but ideally up to four times a year. An A1c test measures the average level of blood sugar over the past three months.

If your blood pressure is high, check it regularly and get it under control to make sure your kidneys remain healthy. Talk to your doctor about medicines to lower your blood pressure.

Helping to prevent type 2 diabetes is another important step in preventing kidney disease. Recent studies have shown that overweight people at higher risk for type 2 diabetes can prevent or delay the onset of the disease by losing 5 to 7 percent of their body weight, or 10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound person. You can do that by eating healthier and getting 150 minutes of physical activity each week

Who Is More Likely to Develop Kidney Disease?

In addition to diabetes and high blood pressure, other conditions that increase the risk of kidney disease include heart disease, obesity, older age, high cholesterol, and a family history of chronic kidney disease. A physical injury can also cause kidney disease.

Kidney disease is the eighth leading cause of death in the United States, responsible for the death of more than 50,000 people in 2010. More than 20 million (greater than 10 percent) of U.S. adults have chronic kidney disease and most of them are not aware of their condition .

More than 35 percent of adults with diabetes have chronic kidney disease. High blood sugar (blood glucose) and high blood pressure increase the risk that chronic kidney disease will eventually lead to kidney failure. If you have diabetes, controlling blood sugar and blood pressure reduces the risk of developing kidney disease or may slow its progression .

Injuries and Infections Can Damage Your Kidneys

Infections such as those affecting the bladder and kidney can damage your kidneys, too . Call your health care provider if you have any of these signs of bladder infection:

· Cloudy or bloody urine

· Pain or burning when you urinate

· An urgent need to urinate often

Also, speak with your health care provider if you have any of these signs of kidney infections:

· Back pain

· Chills

· Fever

Chronic Kidney Disease Could Lead to Dialysis or a Transplant

The final stage of chronic kidney disease is kidney failure, or end-stage renal disease. People with kidney failure need dialysis, in which blood is cleaned through a machine, or a new, healthy kidney through transplantation.

In 2009, more than 110,000 people in the United States began treatment for kidney failure. For every ten new cases, seven had diabetes or hypertension listed as the primary cause. In that same year, more than 560,000 people in the United States were living on chronic dialysis or with a kidney transplant. Among people on hemodialysis due to kidney failure, the leading causes of hospitalization are cardiovascular disease and infection .

Take steps to keep your kidneys healthy. If you have a higher risk of kidney disease, talk to your doctor about getting tested.

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a condition in which the kidneys are damaged and cannot filter blood as well as possible. This damage can cause wastes to build up in the body and lead to other health problems, including cardiovascular disease (CVD), anemia, and bone disease. People with early CKD tend not to feel any symptoms. The only ways to detect CKD are through a blood test to estimate kidney function, and a urine test to assess kidney damage. CKD is usually an irreversible and progressive disease and can lead to kidney failure, also called End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), over time if it is not treated. Once detected, CKD can be treated through medication and lifestyle changes to slow down the disease progression, and to prevent or delay the onset of kidney failure. However, the only treatment options for kidney failure are dialysis or a kidney transplant.

CKD is common among adults in the United States.

More than 10% of people, or more than 20 million, aged 20 years or older in the United States have CKD.

· CKD is more common among women than men.

· More than 35% of people aged 20 years or older with diabetes have CKD.

· More than 20% of people aged 20 years or older with hypertension have CKD.

Percent with CKD among adult U.S. population by age, sex, and race/ethnicity.

Risk factors for developing CKD

Adults with diabetes or hypertension are at an increased risk of developing CKD. Other risk factors for developing CKD include CVD, obesity, elevated cholesterol, and a family history of CKD. The risk of developing CKD increases with age largely because risk factors for kidney disease become more common as one ages.

Risk factors for progression of CKD

Inadequately controlled diabetes and hypertension increase the risk of progression of CKD to kidney failure. Repeated episodes of acute kidney injury from a variety of causes (e.g., infections, drugs, or toxins injurious to the kidney) can also contribute to progression of CKD to kidney failure, especially in the elderly. While CKD is more common among women, men with CKD are 50% more likely than women to progress to kidney failure.

Important health consequences of CKD

Cardiovascular disease

CKD is an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks, heart failure, heart rhythm disturbances, and strokes. Risk factors for cardiovascular disease that require careful attention in people with CKD include tobacco use, uncontrolled high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, excessive weight, and elevated cholesterol.

Kidney failure

Kidney failure or ESRD occurs when the kidneys are no longer able to provide waste removal functions for the body. At this point, dialysis or kidney transplantation becomes necessary for survival.

· About 110,000 patients in the United States started treatment for ESRD in 2007.

· Leading causes of ESRD are diabetes and hypertension. In 2006, 7 out of 10 new cases of ESRD in the United States had diabetes or hypertension listed as the primary cause. Less common causes include glomerulonephritis, hereditary kidney disease, and malignancies such as myeloma.

· Incidence of ESRD is greater among adults older than 65 years.

· African Americans were nearly four times more likely to develop ESRD than whites in 2007. However, this disparity in ESRD incidence has narrowed from 1998 to 2005.

· Hispanics have 1.5 times the rate of kidney failure compared to non-Hispanic whites.

· Between 2000 and 2007, the adjusted incidence of ESRD due to diabetes has increased by less than 1% and the adjusted incidence of glomerulonephritis has fallen by 21%, suggesting possible improvement in the clinical management of this condition. In contrast, the adjusted incidence of ESRD due to hypertension has increased by 8% between 2000 and 2007.


· Premature death from both cardiovascular disease and from all causes is higher in adults with CKD compared to adults without CKD. In fact, individuals with CKD are 16 to 40 times more likely to die than to reach ESRD.

Other health consequences

· The kidneys have many functional roles, including fluid and electrolyte balance, waste removal, acid-base balance, bone health, and stimulation of red blood cell production. CKD can be associated with fluid overload, sodium and potassium imbalances, bone and mineral disorders, anemia, and reduced quality of life. Additionally, adults with CKD typically have other chronic diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension, and other cardiovascular diseases

Information from the CDC and WebMD

Nov National Diabetes Awareness Month

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month

America is facing an epidemic of diabetes, a serious disease that damages bodies and shortens lives. In the next four decades, the number of U.S. adults with diabetes is estimated to double or triple, according to CDC scientists. That means anywhere from 20 to 33 percent of adults could have the disease. About 1 in 9 adults have diabetes now.

If you already have diabetes, managing the disease can lower your risk of complications such as kidney failure, heart disease and stroke, blindness, and amputations of legs and feet

Diabetes is a disease that touches many lives. Nearly all of us can say that we know someone who is affected by diabetes, whether it’s a close family member, co-worker, or even simply a friend of a friend. Each year, National Diabetes Awareness Month, which takes place in November, offers people a chance to communicate the seriousness of diabetes and the importance of managing the disease.

Diabetes Facts

Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. The cause of diabetes continues to be a mystery, although both genetics and environmental factors such as obesity and lack of exercise appear to play roles.

There are 23.6 million children and adults in the United States, or 7.8% of the population, who have diabetes. While an estimated 17.9 million have been diagnosed with diabetes, unfortunately, 5.7 million people (or nearly one quarter) are unaware that they have the disease.

In order to determine whether or not a patient has pre-diabetes or diabetes, health care providers conduct a Fasting Plasma Glucose Test (FPG) or an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT). Either test can be used to diagnose pre-diabetes or diabetes. The American Diabetes Association recommends the FPG because it is easier, faster, and less expensive to perform.

With the FPG test, a fasting blood glucose level between 100 and 125 mg/dl signals pre-diabetes. A person with a fasting blood glucose level of 126 mg/dl or higher has diabetes.

In the OGTT test, a person’s blood glucose level is measured after a fast and two hours after drinking a glucose-rich beverage. If the two-hour blood glucose level is between 140 and 199 mg/dl, the person tested has pre-diabetes. If the two-hour blood glucose level is at 200 mg/dl or higher, the person tested has diabetes.

Major Types of Diabetes

Type 1 diabetesResults from the body’s failure to produce insulin, the hormone that “unlocks” the cells of the body, allowing glucose to enter and fuel them. It is estimated that 5-10% of Americans who are diagnosed with diabetes have type 1 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes
Results from insulin resistance (a condition in which the body fails to properly use insulin), combined with relative insulin deficiency. Most Americans who are diagnosed with diabetes have type 2 diabetes.

Gestational diabetes
Immediately after pregnancy, 5% to 10% of women with gestational diabetes are found to have diabetes, usually, type 2.

Pre-diabetes is a condition that occurs when a person’s blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. There are 57 million Americans who have pre-diabetes, in addition to the 23.6 million with diabetes.

Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes:

Type 1 Diabetes

  • Frequent urination
  • Unusual thirst
  • Extreme hunger
  • Unusual weight loss
  • Extreme fatigue and Irritability

Type 2 Diabetes*

  • Any of the type 1 symptoms
  • Frequent infections
  • Blurred vision
  • Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal
  • Tingling/numbness in the hands/feet
  • Recurring skin, gum, or bladder infections

*Often people with type 2 diabetes have no symptoms

Note: You may not have any of these symptoms. Many people have diabetes for 5 to seven years or more before noticing these symptoms.

Family and friends should be aware of the diabetic emergency symptoms and be prepared:

· If the patient is helpless (but not unconscious), family or friends should administer three to five pieces of hard candy, two to three packets of sugar, half a cup (four ounces) of fruit juice, or a commercially available glucose solution (A Glucose tube can be found in all the disaster first aid kits supplied to safety committee members and all Plateau stores).

· If there is inadequate response within 15 minutes, additional oral sugar should be provided or the patient should receive emergency medical treatment, including intravenous administration of glucose.

Family members and friends can learn to inject glucagon, a hormone, which, in contrast to insulin, raises blood glucose

Some Risk Factors beyond your control:

· Family history of diabetes- parent, brother or sister with diabetes

· You are over the age of 45

· You are Latino, African American, native American, Asian American or pacific islander you are at a higher risk of contracting diabetes

· You had diabetes when pregnant or gave birth to a baby weighing more than nine pounds.


When to Seek Medical Care

Diabetic emergencies

The following situations can become 911 medical emergencies and warrant an immediate visit to a hospital emergency department.

The person with a severe diabetic complication may travel to the emergency department by car or ambulance.

A companion should go along to speak for the person if the person is not able to speak for himself or herself with the emergency care provider.

Bring a list of medical problems, medications, allergies to medications, and the blood sugar diary to the emergency department. This information will help the emergency care provider diagnose the problem and treat it appropriately.

The following are signs and symptoms of diabetic complications that warrant emergency care.

· Altered mental status: Lethargy, agitation, forgetfulness, or just strange behavior can be a sign of very low or very high blood sugar levels.

o If the person is a known diabetic, try giving him or her some fruit juice (about 6 ounces) or cake icing if the person is awake enough to swallow normally without choking. Avoid giving things such as hard candy that can lodge in the throat. The healthcare provider can prescribe glucose wafers or gels that melt under the tongue.

o If the person does not wake up and behave normally within about 15 minutes, call 911.

o If the person is not a known diabetic, these symptoms can be signs of stroke, drug intoxication, alcohol intoxication, oxygen starvation, and other serious medical conditions. Call 911 immediately.


· Nausea or vomiting: If the patient is known to have diabetes and cannot keep food, medications, or fluids down at all, they may have diabetic ketoacidosis, hyperosmolar hyperglycemic nonketotic syndrome, or another complication of diabetes.

o If the patient has not already taken the latest insulin dose or oral diabetes medicine, do not take it without talking to a medical professional.

o If the patient already has low blood sugar levels, taking additional insulin or medication will drive the blood sugar level down even further, possibly to dangerous levels.


· Fever of more than 101.5°F: If the primary healthcare provider cannot see the patient right away, seek emergency care for a high fever if they are diabetic. Note any other symptoms such as cough, painful urination, abdominal pain, or chest pain.

· High blood sugar level: If the patient’s blood sugar level is more than 400 mg/dL, and the primary healthcare provider cannot see them right away. Very high blood sugar levels can be a sign of diabetic ketoacidosis or hyperosmolar hyperglycemic nonketotic syndrome, depending on the type of diabetes you have. Both of these conditions can be fatal if not treated promptly.


· Large sores or ulcers on the feet or legs: If the patient has diabetes, a non-healing sore larger than 1 inch in diameter can be a sign of a potentially limb-threatening infection.

o Other signs and symptoms that merit immediate care are exposed bone or deep tissue in the wound, large areas of surrounding redness and warmth, swelling, and severe pain in the foot or leg.

o If left untreated, such a sore may ultimately require amputation of the limb.


· Cuts or lacerations: Any cut penetrating all the layers of skin, especially on the legs, is a potential danger to a person with diabetes. Proper wound care, although important to anyone’s recovery, is especially important in diabetics to assure good wound healing.

· Chest pain: If the patient is diabetic, take very seriously any pain in the chest, particularly in the middle or on the left side, and seek medical attention immediately.

o People with diabetes are more likely than non-diabetic people to have a heart attack, with or without experiencing chest pain.

o Irregular heartbeats and unexplained shortness of breath may also be signs of heart attack.

· Severe abdominal pain: Depending on the location, this can be a sign of heart attack, abdominal aortic aneurysm (widening of the large artery in the abdomen), diabetic ketoacidosis, or interrupted blood flow to the bowels.

o All of these are more common in people with diabetes than in the general population and are potentially life-threatening.

o Those with diabetes also get other common causes of severe abdominal pain such as appendicitis, perforated ulcer, inflammation and infection of the gallbladder, kidney stones, and bowel obstruction.

o Severe pain anywhere in the body is a signal for timely medical attention.

Diabetic Food Pyramid

The Diabetic Food Pyramid will help guide you with group of foods based on their carbohydrate and protein content because these foods affect blood glucose levels, which is indeed the primary concern to people with diabetes. You may find differences like potatoes and other starchy vegetables in the grains, beans and starchy vegetables group instead of the vegetables group, cheese is in the meat group instead of the milk group.

A serving of pasta or rice is 1/3 cup in the Diabetes Food Pyramid and ½ cup in the USDA pyramid. Fruit juice is ½ cup in the Diabetes Food Pyramid and ¾ cup in the USDA pyramid. This difference is to make the carbohydrate about the same in all the servings listed.

Grains and Starches
Situated at the base of the pyramid, these are foods contain mostly carbohydrates. Bread, cereal, rice, and pasta are food in this group mostly made of grains, such as wheat, rye, and oats. Starchy vegetables like potatoes, corn, and peas also belong to this group, along with dry beans such as black eyed peas and pinto beans. Starchy vegetables and beans are in this group because they have about as much carbohydrate in one serving as a slice of bread. As for beans and starches, they are group together because they affect blood glucose in the same way.

Recommended serving: 6 -11 servings per day.

Vegetables are full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and naturally all of them are low in fat. Vegetables that should be at the top of your food list should be dark green and deep yellow vegetables,such as spinach, kale, broccoli, romaine lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, chilies and peppers. Try to get fresh or frozen vegetables rather than canned vegetables because they have less sauces, fats and salt added.

Recommended serving: 3 – 5 servings per day.

Fruits are fabulous because they provide important vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Fruits also contain carbohydrates. Most dietitians recommend consuming whole fruits rather than juices because of the fiber contained. Avoid fruits and fruit juices that contain sweeteners or syrups added. This group includes blackberries, grapefruit and tangerines, cantaloupe, strawberries, oranges, apples, bananas, peaches, pears, and apricots.

Recommended serving: 2 – 4 servings per day.

Milk products contain a lot of protein and calcium as well as many other vitamins. When looking at milk or yogurt, try to choose low-fat or nonfat milk products for the great taste and nutrition without the saturated fat.

Recommended serving: 2 – 3 servings per day.

Meat and Meat Substitutes
Includes in these group are beef, chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, tofu, dried beans, cheese, cottage cheese and peanut butter. Meat and meat substitutes are great sources of protein and many vitamins and minerals. Nutritionists usually recommend fish and poultry over red meat, because it’s less fatty. Keep your portion sizes small and trim away all the visible fat off meat. Baking, roasting or grilling is preferable to frying.

Recommended serving: 2 – 3 servings per day.

Sweets, Fats and Alcohol
Sitting at the very top of the pyramid simply means that your body should have smaller amounts of them. Your body needs fat for some things, but it’s smart to avoid eating too much of it. And although sugary foods like candy and cookies are simple carbohydrates that can give you quick energy, they are usually loaded with calories and don’t offer much in the way of nutrients. In the right amount, though, fats, alcohol and sweets can spike up the flavor in meals and snacks.

Recommended serving: Use them sparingly. In other words, eat only a little bit and don’t eat them very often.

Top 20 Power Foods for Diabetes

Are you constantly asking yourself, “What can I eat?” It’s time to stop worrying! Living with diabetes doesn’t have to mean feeling deprived or restricted. We’ll help you learn what you can eat (which is just about anything), how much of it you can consume, and how often you can enjoy it. Once you get the hang of eating a healthy diet, you can relax and dig in to a wide variety of delicious meals and snacks.


If you love asparagus, you’ll really love that it’s a nonstarchy vegetable with only 5 grams of carb per serving and nearly 2 grams of dietary fiber. It is also high in the B vitamin folate, vitamin C, and a health-promoting antioxidant called glutathione, says Jeannette Jordan, MS, RD, CDE, a Charleston, South Carolina-based registered dietitian and advisory board member for Diabetic Living. Glutathione may help boost the immune system and promote lung health by protecting against viruses.

The cardiovascular benefits of folate and other B vitamins have been studied in relation to homocysteine, an amino acid in the blood that has been linked to a higher risk of coronary heart disease. The American Heart Association recommends including foods containing folate and other B vitamins in your diet to help lower homocysteine levels.


Enjoy the benefits of blueberries on their own or in a variety of foods, including smoothies and pancakes. Blueberries provide dietary fiber, vitamin C, and flavonoids, a type of phytonutrient that offers antioxidant protection, such as boosting your immune system and fighting inflammation. Flavonoids may also help decrease the LDL (bad cholesterol)-oxidation process that can lead to arterial plaque, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

Blueberries get their dark blue color from anthocyanins, another disease-fighting antioxidant that may benefit heart health. Blueberries have also been studied for their potential to protect and improve vision.

Red Grapefruit

Sweet, juicy, and delicious, the ruby red grapefruit packs more antioxidant power and possibly more heart benefits than the white grapefruit. In a preliminary 30-day test of 57 people with heart disease, those eating one red grapefruit daily decreased their LDL (bad) cholesterol by 20 percent and decreased triglycerides by 17 percent. In contrast, those eating a white grapefruit reduced LDL by 10 percent with no significant change in triglycerides, compared with a group of people who didn’t eat the fruit.

Include the vitamin C-rich grapefruit as a juice, in salads, or by itself. The only way the body can get vitamin C is through food, such as citrus fruits, or supplements.

Grapefruit interacts with certain drugs, including statins and antiarrhythmic medications, so check with your health-care professional.


You can’t go wrong with beans. Beans are high in fiber and protein and are a good source of vitamins and minerals, such as folate, iron, magnesium, and potassium, which is essential for the water balance between the cells and body fluids, such as electrolyte balance. The American Heart Association recommends eating a variety of foods to get the necessary soluble and insoluble fiber needed daily–about 25 to 30 grams a day, which is twice the amount the average American adult normally consumes. One serving of navy beans is 1/2 cup and has 5.8 grams of fiber per serving.

There are so many delicious varieties of beans to choose from, such as black, kidney, garbanzo, white, lima, and pinto, finding ways to incorporate beans in your diet is a breeze. Soak and cook dry beans or use canned beans. Try substituting beans as your main protein source for lunch or dinner a couple times a week. Protein is an important part of your daily nutrition, which helps the body repair and produces cells and build muscle and bones.


Don’t underestimate the nutritional power of broccoli. Truly a super food, this nonstarchy vegetable has more vitamin C per 100 grams than an orange and is considered a good source of fiber and the antioxidant beta-carotene, which the body uses to make vitamin A. This dark green vegetable’s vitamin A power promotes healthy vision, teeth, bones, and skin. Vitamin C is essential for healing wounds and is a disease-fighting antioxidant, according to the National Institutes of Health’s U.S. Library of Medicine.


Cooked or raw, carrots are a healthy addition to any meal plan. Have them for a snack with 2 tablespoons of light ranch dressing or include them in your main course or as a side dish.

Carrots provide vitamin A from the antioxidant beta-carotene. This powerful phytonutrient may help prevent cancer and heart disease, says Jeannette Jordan, RD, CDE, and member of the Diabetic Living editorial advisory board. Carotenoids found in yellow and orange produce may also help reduce insulin resistance.


Seafood lovers rejoice! Fish is a great addition to your meal plan, especially omega-3-rich fatty fish, such as salmon, trout, tuna, sardines, mackerel, and herring. Omega-3s, a type of polyunsaturated fat, which is healthful, can help lower triglycerides. It contains omega-3s can also help reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, and reduce the risk of blood clots.


Flaxseed is the new “it” super food, noted for its alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a fatty acid that can be converted into omega-3 fatty acids, which offer similar benefits as the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA found in fish. ALA omega-3s are known for helping to lower triglycerides, reduce inflammation, and decrease the risk of heart disease.

Flaxseed has emerged as a must-eat power food for overall health. High in both soluble and insoluble fiber, flaxseed is also a good source of lignans, a phytoestrogen that is considered another type of antioxidant.


They’re not just for Thanksgiving dinner! Cranberries are a power fruit packed with the disease-fighting antioxidant vitamin C that can be eaten year-round. Although best known for helping to prevent urinary tract infections, cranberries and their abundant phytonutrients, including anthocyanins, may also help protect against cancer and cardiovascular disease, studies suggest.

Anthocyanins lend vibrant color and antioxidant power to red, blue, and purple foods, such as cranberries.


The soluble and insoluble fiber in apples can benefit people with diabetes. According to a 2003 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, a diet high in fiber can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease-a leading diabetes complication, which is often caused by high cholesterol, lack of exercise, and obesity. The good news is one medium-sized apple packs 3 grams of fiber–12 percent of the recommended 25 grams per day.

Plus, the soluble fiber in an apple may help slow digestion. According to the Cleveland Clinic, some research has indicated this slowing-down process may help regulate cholesterol and stabilize blood glucose.


A dessert straight from nature, melons come in many varieties including watermelon, cantaloupe, muskmelon, honeydew, casaba, crenshaw, Persian, and pepino.

While all provide good nutrients, watermelon is high in vitamins C and B6 and is a good source of the antioxidant lycopene, which may help protect against cancer, says nutritionist Jeannette Jordan. Lycopene is commonly associated with tomatoes and tomato juice, but watermelon is another optimal source. Watermelon is also high in beta-carotene, which the body uses to make vitamin A.

Honeydew is high in vitamin C and a good source of potassium, which can help improve or maintain blood pressure, according to the Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide Online. Check with a health-care professional before increasing potassium intake if you have kidney complications or kidney disease.

Cantaloupe is also high in potassium and the antioxidant beta-carotene, and it’s a good source of fiber, vitamin C, and folate. The American Heart Association recommends getting enough folate and other B vitamins in your diet to help lower homocysteine levels, which may help decrease the risk of heart disease.


Nuts are a good source of protein, fiber, vitamin E, and flavonoids and are power-packed with monounsaturated fat. Plant sterols known to lower cholesterol also naturally occur in nuts.

According to the Mayo Clinic, about 80 percent of a nut is made of up fat. Although nuts contain healthy fats, they are also high in calories.

Walnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, pecans, and hazelnuts are just some of the nuts that can help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, making them heart-healthy choices.

Eat nuts in moderation and avoid salted, sugared, or chocolate-covered options that increase calories and decrease nuts’ natural health benefits.


If you fuel up with a bowl of oatmeal in the morning, then you know its fiber content will keep you full longer, getting you to your mid-morning snack or lunch. The soluble fiber in oats also can help lower cholesterol, improve blood pressure, and stabilize blood glucose by slowing digestion. Oats are also a source of antioxidants, says nutritionist Jeannette Jordan. Flavor oatmeal with cinnamon or artificial sweeteners to keep total calories low. Oats also provide vitamin E, B vitamins, magnesium, and potassium, which may help lower blood pressure.

There are several types of oatmeal to choose from. Steel-cut oatmeal has a dense, thick texture and can take up to 45 minutes to cook, while old-fashioned (or rolled) oats are thinner and take less time to cook. The less processed the oat, such as steel-cut oatmeal, the lower it is on the glycemic index, which may help control blood glucose. Quick cooking oatmeal and instant oatmeal are also available.

Red Onions

Red onions don’t just add great color to salads, sandwiches, and stews. They also score highest in antioxidant power, with yellow onions not far behind and white a distant third.

Onions are also a good source of fiber, potassium, and folate-all good for heart health. Onions’ high flavonoid content also puts them on the map for cancer and cardiovascular research and other chronic diseases, such as asthma. According to a 2002 study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, having a high dietary intake of the flavonoid quercetin found in onions may lower the risk of these chronic illnesses.


Raspberries are packed with fiber (partly due to their tiny, edible seeds) and are high in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that the body can only get through food. Vitamin C is beneficial for bone and skin health as well as cancer and heart disease prevention. These delicate berries are also rich in anthocyanins, which give red raspberries their color and more antioxidant power.

There are red, black, and purple raspberries, which you can plant in your garden or buy at your local market or farmer’s market. Store fresh raspberries in your refrigerator up to seven days or use ripe berries to make jams and jellies or freeze for later. In the winter, check your grocery store for frozen, unsweetened raspberries.


Popeye ate spinach for a reason. This dark green leafy vegetable is loaded with vitamins and minerals, including vitamins B2 and B6, folate, copper, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and fiber, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

Studies of spinach have found it has potential to decrease the risk of cancer, cataracts, and heart disease. Spinach is high in beta-carotene, an antioxidant that the body uses to make vitamin A. Beta-carotene helps protect the body’s cells from free radicals, which contribute to chronic illness and aging. Plus, just 1/2 cup of cooked frozen spinach has 145 mg of calcium and 3.5 grams of fiber. Although many studies have concluded that more research is needed to declare that cartenoid-rich vegetables, such as spinach, prevent or decrease disease, spinach is still a great nonstarchy vegetable to include in any meal plan.


Often used as a substitute for animal products, soy is an excellent power food to incorporate in your diet, even if you aren’t a vegetarian. Soy can be eaten in whole bean form, such as baby green soybeans called edamame, which is the highest in protein. Other soy products include soy milk or cheese, tofu, soy nuts, or vegetarian meatless products.

Soy is also a source of niacin, folate, zinc, potassium, iron, and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a fatty acid that can be converted into omega-3 fatty acids, known to help lower cholesterol. All of these nutrients serve important functions in the body:

· Niacin is a B vitamin that aids in converting food into energy.

· Folate may help lower homocysteine levels linked to heart disease.

· Zinc, found naturally in foods or supplemented in foods or vitamins, may be lower in people with diabetes and may help improve immune function and wound healing, according to the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements.

· Potassium may help lower blood pressure and is essential for the water balance between the cells and body fluids, such as electrolyte balance, according to the American Heart Association.

· Iron oxygenates the blood and body and helps keep a healthy immune system.

Check with a health-care professional before increasing potassium intake if you have kidney complications or kidney disease.


The next time you pour yourself a cup of white, green, or black tea, you could be doing your health a favor. Tea contains antioxidant-rich flavonoids, called catechins, which have been studied for their effectiveness in preventing chronic illnesses such as cancer and heart disease, says nutritionist Jeannette Jordan.

There are various types of teas from all over the world, and many are sold ground in tea bags or as loose-leaf varieties.

Fun tea facts: White tea is the highest in antioxidants, with green coming in second, followed by oolong tea, then black tea, according to Mike Feller, co-owner of Gong Fu Tea in Des Moines. This is because of each tea’s degree of oxidation–the less it is oxidized, the higher the antioxidants and the lower the caffeine.

Tea can be enjoyed either hot or cold. If you prefer decaf, Feller suggests this technique: Steep regular tea for 30 seconds, then pour it out. Steep the tea leaves or tea bag again for 3 to 5 minutes, then drink. This natural, chemical-free decaffeinating process removes 80 percent of the caffeine, which is released in the first 30 seconds.


The tomato is an excellent source of vitamin C and potassium and is rich in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that is easier for your body to absorb from cooked and processed tomatoes, such as tomato juice, than from fresh, whole tomatoes. According to Healing Gourmet: Eat to Beat Diabetes (McGraw-Hill, 2006), adding a little bit of oil while sauteing or cooking tomatoes can help aid in lycopene absorption.

Studies suggest lycopene-rich tomato products may help protect against certain types of cancer, including prostate cancer, and may offer cardiovascular and anti-inflammatory protection.


Yogurt is a sweet treat that is creamy, delicious, and good for you. An excellent source of calcium, which helps promote the health of bones and teeth as well as muscle and blood vessel function, yogurt, is also a good source of energy-boosting vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and protein. It also provides zinc, which can be deficient in some people with diabetes and aids in immune function and wound healing. Probiotic yogurt contains health-promoting bacteria that some research has proposed is beneficial for digestive health, including lactose intolerance and irritable bowel syndrome. Yogurt’s live cultures may also benefit immunity and improve cholesterol, according 101 Foods That Could Save Your Life (Bantam Books, 2008).

There are different yogurts to choose from on the market, including Greek yogurt, which is thicker than regular yogurt because it is strained before being packaged.

More information can be found at www.diabetes.org, Diabetic Living, CDC and ADAM.



Today’s Post is courtesy of Ken Oswald Safety and Security Manager for Plateau


September is National Preparedness Month

During National Preparedness Month, we underscore the important responsibility Americans have to be ready for emergencies in our homes, businesses, and communities. Just this past weeks people from the Gulf coast have been dealing with the affects of Hurricane Isaac, Our Plateau service area is always subject to wildfires. We never know when an emergency or disaster may hit your area.

The Department of Homeland Security’s Ready campaign highlights preparedness steps, including having an emergency supply kit, making a family emergency plan, and becoming informed about different types of emergencies. After preparing themselves and their families, Americans can take the next step and get involved in helping to prepare their communities for all types of emergencies. Below are some simple tips to help you start building your own disaster kit.


When preparing for a possible emergency situation, it’s best to think first about the basics of survival: fresh water, food, clean air and warmth.

Recommended Items to Include in a Basic Emergency Supply Kit:

§ Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation

§ Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food

§ Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both

§ Flashlight and extra batteries

§ First aid kit

§ Whistle to signal for help

§ Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place

§ Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation

§ Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities

§ Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)

§ Local maps

Additional Items to Consider Adding to an Emergency Supply Kit:

§ Prescription medications and glasses

§ Infant formula and diapers

§ Pet food and extra water for your pet

§ Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container

§ Cash or traveler’s checks and change

§ Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or information from www.ready.gov

§ Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.

§ Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.

§ Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.

§ Fire Extinguisher

§ Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items

§ Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels

§ Paper and pencil

§ Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children

Click here for more information, including a printer-friendly list of supplies. In addition to getting a kit, be sure to Make a Plan, Be Informed and Get Involved!

Learn how to Shelter in Place

“Shelter-in-place” means to take immediate shelter where you areat home, work, school, or in between. It may also mean “seal the room;” in other words, take steps to prevent outside air from coming in. This is because local authorities may instruct you to “shelter-in-place” if chemical or radiological contaminants are released into the environment. It is important to listen to TV or radio to understand whether the authorities wish you to merely remain indoors or to take additional steps to protect yourself and your family.

How do I prepare?

At home


Choose a room in advance for your shelter. The best room is one with as few windows and doors as possible. A large room, preferably with a water supply, is desirablesomething like a master bedroom that is connected to a bathroom.

· Contact your workplaces, your children’s schools, nursing homes where you may have family and your local town or city officials to find out what their plans are for “shelter-in-place.”

· Find out when warning systems will be tested. When tested in your area, determine whether you can hear or see sirens and/or warning lights from your home.

· Develop your own family emergency plan so that every family member knows what to do. Practice it regularly.

· Assemble a disaster supplies kit that includes emergency water and food supplies.

At work

· Help ensure that the emergency plan and checklist involves all employees. Volunteers or recruits should be assigned specific duties during an emergency. Alternates should be assigned to each duty.

· The shelter kit should be checked on a regular basis. Duct tape and first aid supplies can sometimes disappear when all employees know where the shelter kit is stored. Batteries for the radio and flashlight should be replaced regularly.

In general

· Learn CPR, first aid and the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED). (Contact Me for next class or for more information.)

How will I know when I need to “shelter-in-place”?

Fire or police department warning procedures could include:

· “All-Call” telephoning – an automated system for sending recorded messages, sometimes called “reverse 9-1-1”.

· Emergency Alert System (EAS) broadcasts on the radio or television.

· Outdoor warning sirens or horns.

· News media sources – radio, television and cable.

· NOAA Weather Radio alerts.

· Residential route alerting – messages announced to neighborhoods from vehicles equipped with public address systems.

Facilities that handle potentially dangerous materials, like nuclear power plants, are required to install sirens and other warning systems (flash warning lights) to cover a 10-mile area around the plant.

For more information, contact any of the following:

For checklists to help prepare to shelter-in-place in your home, at work, in your car, or at school or day-care, read How Do I Shelter-in-Place?

· Your local American Red Cross chapter

· Your state and local health departments

· Your local emergency management agency

· CDC Public Response Hotline
English 1-888-246-2675
Spanish 1-888-246-2857
TTY 1-866-874-2646)

Additional Considerations for Businesses

Encourage all of your employees to have a Portable Kit customized to meet personal needs, such as essential medications. In addition:

§ Keep copies of important records such as site maps, building plans, insurance policies, employee contact and identification information, bank account records, supplier and shipping contact lists, computer backup files, emergency or law enforcement contact information and other priority documents in a waterproof, fireproof portable container. Store a second set of records at an off-site location.

§ Talk to your co-workers about what emergency supplies the company can feasibly provide, if any, and which ones individuals should consider keeping on hand.

Information provided by Dept of Homeland Security, FEMA, CDC, ARC, Citizens Corp. Gov and Curry County LEPC.

For more information, citizens may visit www.ready.gov and www.citizencorps.gov

June is National Safety Month

No, it’s not National Safety Inc month, it’s National Safety Month. What is National Safety Month?

From the National Safety Council website:

“NSM is an annual observance to educate and influence behaviors around the leading causes of preventable injuries and deaths. Each week carries a theme that brings attention to critical safety issues.”

The 2012 Weekly themes are:
Week 1: Employee wellness and PALA+ Challenge
Week 2: Ergonomics
Week 3: Preventing slips, trips and falls
Week 4: Driving safety

Follow the above links or go to the NSC National Safety Month page for free online training, a 2012 NSM planner and more.

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

I have about an hour commute to work and an hour commute home each day (4 days a week) and I can honestly say that I probably see at least a dozen driver talking on their cell phone while driving each way. It’s become a game to me to spot the drivers by the way they are driving and I’m rarely wrong.
In spite of the fact that it is now illegal to drive with a cell phone plastered to your ear, the police is apparently turning a bling eye because there are still hundreds of people out there doing it.

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month and the National Safety Council (NSC) wants drivers all across American to “ditch the cell phone while driving”.

Find out more about what you can do or what your company can do to reduce distracted driving on the NSC website page dedicated to it.
You’ll find a pledge to sign, posters you can download, a video and opportunities to share the message with social media.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

DISEASE INFORMATION | Breast Cancer Awareness


Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the United States, aside from skin cancer. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), an estimated 190,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed among women in the United States this year. An estimated over 40,000 women and men are expected to die from the disease in 2011 alone. Today, there are about 2.5 million breast cancer survivors living in the United States.

If you’re worried about developing breast cancer, or if you know someone who has been diagnosed with the disease, one way to deal with your concerns is to get as much information as possible. In this section you’ll find important background information about what breast cancer is and how it develops.

Breast cancer is a malignant tumor that grows in one or both of the breasts. Breast cancer usually develops in the ducts or lobules, also known as the milk-producing areas of the breast.

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women (after lung cancer). Although African-American women have a slightly lower incidence of breast cancer after age 40 than Caucasian women, they have a slightly higher incidence rate of breast cancer before age 40. However, African-American women are more likely to die from breast cancer at every age. Breast cancer is much less common in males; by comparison, the disease is about 100 times more common among women. According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 1,910 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed among men in the United States in 2010.

What are the symptoms of breast cancer?

When breast cancer starts out, it is too small to feel and does not cause signs and symptoms. As it grows, however, breast cancer can cause changes in how the breast looks or feels. Symptoms may include—

  • New lump in the breast or underarm (armpit).
  • Thickening or swelling of part of the breast.
  • Irritation or dimpling of breast skin.
  • Redness or flaky skin in the nipple area or the breast.
  • Pulling in of the nipple or pain in the nipple area.
  • Nipple discharge other than breast milk, including blood.
  • Any change in the size or the shape of the breast.
  • Pain in any area of the breast.


How to detect breast cancer?

Usually, breast cancer does not carry any pain. However, a woman is still advised to visit her health care practitioner on a regular basis to know about the development of the disease in her body. Monthly breast self-exams are an option for all women beginning by age 20. Women who regularly examine their breasts become more aware of how their breasts normally feel. They are more likely to notice changes — including masses or lumps — that could be early signs of cancer. It’s best to check about a week after your period, when breasts are not swollen or tender. If you no longer have a period, examine yourself on the same day every month. If you see or feel a change in your breasts, see your doctor immediately. But remember, most of the time breast changes are not cancer. Lastly are mammograms.

What is a mammogram?

A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast.  Doctors use a mammogram to look for early signs of breast cancer. Most women should have their first mammogram at age 40 and then have another mammogram every one or two years.

Why should I have a mammogram?

Regular mammograms are the best tests doctors have to find breast cancer early, sometimes up to three years before it can be felt. When their breast cancer is found early, many women go on to live long and healthy lives.

Where can I go to get screened?

Most likely, you can get screened for breast cancer at a clinic, hospital, or doctor’s office. If you want to be screened for breast cancer, call your doctor’s office. They can help you schedule an appointment. Most health insurance companies pay for the cost of breast cancer screening tests.

Are you worried about the cost? The National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) offer free or low-cost mammograms. To find out if you qualify, call your local program.

How can I lower my risk of breast cancer?

  • Control your weight and exercise.
  • Know your family history of breast cancer. If you have a mother, sister, or daughter with breast cancer, ask your doctor what is your risk of getting breast cancer and how you can lower your risk.
  • Find out the risks and benefits of hormone replacement therapy.
  • Limit the amount of alcohol you drink.


Can men get breast cancer?

Men can also get breast cancer, but it is not very common. For every 100 cases of breast cancer, less than 1 is in men.

Types of breast cancer

There are several different types of breast cancer that can be divided into two main categories – noninvasive cancers and invasive cancers. Noninvasive cancer may also be called “carcinoma in situ.” Noninvasive breast cancers are confined to the ducts or lobules and they do not spread to surrounding tissues. The two types of noninvasive breast cancers are ductal carcinoma in situ (referred to as DCIS) and lobular carcinoma in situ (referred to as LCIS).

It is known that hormones in a woman’s body, such as estrogen and progesterone, can play a role in the development of breast cancer. In breast cancer, estrogen causes a doubling of cancer cells every 36 hours. The growing tumor needs to increase its blood supply to provide food and oxygen. Progesterone seems to cause stromal cells (the woman’s own cells to send out signals for more blood supply to feed the tumor. (Source: Dr. V. Craig Jordan, vice president and scientific director for the medical science division at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia as quoted in NY Times, Hormones And Cancer: By Gina Kolata, Published: December 26, 2006)

  • Non-invasive breast cancer. The majority of non-invasive breast cancers are DCIS. In DCIS, the cancer cells are found only in the milk duct of the breast. If DCIS is not treated, it may progress to invasive cancer.

    In LCIS, the abnormal cells are found only in the lobules of the breast. Unlike DCIS, LCIS is not considered to be a cancer. It is more like a warning sign of increased risk of developing an invasive breast cancer in the same or opposite breast. While LCIS is a risk factor for invasive cancer, it doesn’t actually develop into invasive breast cancer in many women.

  • Invasive breast cancer. Invasive or infiltrating breast cancers penetrate through normal breast tissue (such as the ducts and lobules) and invade surrounding areas. They are more serious than noninvasive cancers because they can spread to other parts of the body, such as the bones, liver, lungs, and brain.

There are several kinds of invasive breast cancers. The most common type is invasive ductal carcinoma, which appears in the ducts and accounts for about 80 percent of all breast cancer cases. There are differences in the various types of invasive breast cancer, but the treatment options are similar for all of them.

Not all breast cancers are alike
Not all breast cancers are alike – there are different stages of breast cancer based on the size of the tumor and whether the cancer has spread. For doctor and patient, knowing the stage of breast cancer is the most important factor in choosing among treatment options. Doctors use a physical exam, biopsy, and other tests to determine breast cancer stage.

Stages of Breast Cancer
The most common system used to describe the stages of breast cancer is the AJCC/TNM (American Joint Committee on Cancer/Tumor-Nodes-Metastases) system. This system takes into account the tumor size and spread, whether the cancer has spread to lymph nodes, and whether it has spread to distant organs (metastasis).

All of this information is then combined in a process called stage grouping. The stage is expressed as a Roman numeral. After stage 0 (carcinoma in situ), the other stages are I through IV (1-4). Some of the stages are further sub-divided using the letters A, B, and C. In general, the lower the number, the less the cancer has spread. A higher number, such as stage IV (4), means a more advanced cancer.

These are the stages of breast cancer:

Stage 0 – Stage 0 is carcinoma in situ, early stage cancer that is confined to the ducts or the lobules, depending on where it started. It has not gone into the tissues in the breast nor spread to other organs in the body.

  • Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS): This is the most common type of noninvasive breast cancer, when abnormal cells are in the lining of a duct. DCIS is also called intraductal carcinoma. DCIS sometimes becomes invasive cancer if not treated.
  • Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS): This condition begins in the milk-making glands but does not go through the wall of the lobules. LCIS seldom becomes invasive cancer; however, having LCIS in one breast increases the risk of cancer for both breasts.

Stage I – Stage I is an early stage of invasive breast cancer. In Stage I, cancer cells have not spread beyond the breast and the tumor is no more than 2 centimeters (three-quarters of an inch) across.
Stage II – Stage II is one of the following:

  • The tumor in the breast is no more than 2 centimeters (three-quarters of an inch) across. The cancer has spread to the lymph nodes under the arm.
  • The tumor is between 2 and 5 centimeters (three-quarters of an inch to 2 inches). The cancer may have spread to the lymph nodes under the arm.
  • The tumor is larger than 5 centimeters (2 inches). The cancer has not spread to the lymph nodes under the arm.

Stage III – Stage III may be a large tumor, but the cancer has not spread beyond the breast and nearby lymph nodes. It is locally advanced cancer.

  • Stage IIIA – Stage IIIA is one of the following:
    • The tumor in the breast is smaller than 5 centimeters (2 inches). The cancer has spread to underarm lymph nodes that are attached to each other or to other structures.
    • The tumor is more than 5 centimeters across. The cancer has spread to the underarm lymph nodes.
  • Stage IIIB – Stage IIIB is one of the following:
    • The tumor has grown into the chest wall or the skin of the breast.
    • The cancer has spread to lymph nodes behind the breastbone.
    • Inflammatory breast cancer is a rare type of Stage IIIB breast cancer. The breast looks red and swollen because cancer cells block the lymph vessels in the skin of the breast.
  • Stage IIIC – Stage IIIC is a tumor of any size. It has spread in one of the following ways:
    • The cancer has spread to the lymph nodes behind the breastbone and under the arm.
    • The cancer has spread to the lymph nodes under or above the collarbone.

Stage IV – Stage IV is distant metastatic cancer. The cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
Recurrent cancer – Recurrent cancer is cancer that has come back (recurred) after a period of time when it could not be detected. It may recur locally in the breast or chest wall as another primary cancer or it may recur in any other part of the body, such as the bone, liver, or lungs, which is generally referred to as metastatic cancer.

Information and Resources provided by:
ACS- American Cancer Society, www.NationalBreastCancer.org and CDC (www.cdc.gov)


Today’s Blog post is courtesy of Ken Oswald

Safety and Security Manager for ENMR·Plateau